On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that sports could return to New York without fans.
“If you can do it without a crowd, great,” said the longtime governor. He also said that in terms of the Yankees and Mets playing: “when you look at the risk-reward, there’s a lot of reward with minimal risk.”
Horse racing will be allowed soon, and Watkins Glen International Raceway in rural Upstate NY can be used for NASCAR and other events. Watkins Glen is tentatively scheduled to host NASCAR the weekend of August 13-16.
This announcement is big news for New York sports. It could allow the Yankees and Mets to play at their home ballparks if a season happens. Also, it could allow for the in-state NBA and NHL teams to reopen practice facilities to prepare for a resumption of their season.
Cuomo mentioned that sports returning to the state would be a great way to restart the economy. New York was hit the hardest by the coronavirus and is deep into an economic hole. This could also allow for youth sports to return.
Although downstate New York remains shut-down, parts of Upstate began to reopen on Friday. Regions have to meet all criteria set by the state in-order to transition into phase one. Except for Watkins Glen, all of the pro sports teams and venues (except Buffalo teams) are downstate and in regions yet to officially “open.” But from what we’ve heard, pro sports may be an exception to the shutdown.
It’s great to hear that sports will be allowed in New York again, even though it will be without fans.